2016 Announcements ~ A Hiatus

ss announcements 2016Happy 2016, everyone! We here at the Sprint Shack would like to wish you a wonderful new year filled with happiness, health, and lots of good writing.

Over the past years, we’ve been blown away by the amazing community that has sprung up around The Sprint Shack and word sprinting. We’ve loved sharing our writing advice and hearing yours. So many of you have accomplished amazing things with your writing and we’re sure that 2016 holds more of the same!

Unfortunately, we have an announcement to make – one that is somewhat difficult for us: as of today, the Sprint Shack will be going on an indefinite hiatus.

This decision was not one that was easy to make for us. But after much discussion and reflection, we’ve decided that putting the Sprint Shack on hiatus is the right thing to do as we all venture further into our own writing and personal projects.

We are not sure if, or when, the Sprint Shack might return, but we have decided to leave that open for the time being. As we pursue other projects, we’ll most certainly miss the Sprint Shack and this incredible community. So we’re leaving this open-ended for now. If, in the future, we feel we have the time to commit to the site again, we’ll pick everything back up.

But for now, we’re putting things on pause. And though this was a hard decision, we’re confident that it’s the right one.

We’re positive that 2016 is going to be a wonderful year for the writing community. We’re so glad to have been part of it for so long and thank you all for your participation, engagement, and enthusiasm you’ve brought to this site.

We’d love to keep in touch with you! You can find us at our respective websites/social media outlets:

Faye Kirwin
Writerology
writerology@gmail.com
twitter.com/writerology
facebook.com/writerology

Cristina Guarino
crgwrites.wordpress.com
cguarino.qg@gmail.com
twitter.com/crguarino

Taylor Eaton
Little Write Lies
littlewritelies@gmail.com
twitter.com/tayloreaton
facebook.com/littlewritelies

Thank you all for your support! Happy writing in 2016 and beyond!

Best,

The Sprint Shack Team
(Faye, Cristina, and Taylor)

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Breaking the Rules With Your Writing

BREAK Last month I self-published a collection of flash fiction. My lovely Sprint Shack co-founders, Faye and Cristina, did me a huge favor by beta-reading the collection. When I received their infinitely helpful feedback  and was reading through their notes, something Cristina said caught my attention. It was on a story titled “Greeting the Moon” – a piece told entirely in second person.

Cristina enjoyed the piece and commented: “Also, I’m going to pooh pooh any writer who says to stay away from second person, because I love it and I think this story wouldn’t be the same written any other way.”

This got me thinking. I’d broken a stylistic rule of writing and had barely even registered that I’d done so. The story just felt like it should be written that way.

I often write short pieces in second person – I don’t know if it’s because that’s how we often speak to other people in our day-to-day interactions, but that’s what comes easiest to me. I especially enjoy the ambiguity that second person lends to the narrator. I don’t always write from the perspective of a female narrator – and often I like leaving that interpretation open to the reader because the stories often read differently if told from a male or female perspective. And sometimes, gender doesn’t matter at all in the story so I leave it out intentionally/for that reason. Essentially, I have a lot of reasons for breaking this rule.

But I will admit that while it is comfortable for me to write in second person, it’s not always the best way to approach each story. Plus, as Cristina pointed out, tons of editors, authors, and readers turn their noses up at second person narrative.

So today I wanted to share my thoughts about breaking the rules with your writing: why you should and – most importantly – when you should.

Why You Should Break the Rules:

  • Because sometimes rules stifle our creativity.
  • Sometimes the story turns out for the better when the rules are bent or broken.
  • Because you’re the writer. You get to decide what you write.
  • Because some of the best writing you’ve read has broken the rules. Shakespeare made up his own words, for heaven’s sake!
  • Who made these rules in the first place?! Who says what is or isn’t acceptable in the realm of creativity?
  • Because it’s fun!

When You Should Break Rules:

  • Once in a while. Do it sparingly. It’s not something to fall back on or depend on in your writing, but something to spice it up from time to time.
  • When you know your story so well that you can objectively say that breaking the rules will benefit the story. People will notice when you break rules. And they’ll call you out on it. So you better make sure you break the rules for a darn good reason.
  • When writing by the rules feels forced and unnatural – when it just feels right to break the rules.
  • When you’re afraid to break the rules. Sometimes that’s when your writing can benefit from it the most.

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What rules do you break while writing? Or have you yet to try breaking any rules? Let us know in the comments below!